Which Intel NUC to choose?

The link to this is broken - anyone know the name or manufacturer of this case?

Appreciated!

Hi guys,

I am very new to Roon and already impressed with it. Currently it is installed on my main PC but from what I was able to understand, the recommended option is to use a NUC.

My plan is to get Lumin D2, Intel NUC and a NAS - to build a complete solution.

I found this NUC for 400 EUR, 2nd hand but never used and new:

Intel NUC10FNH/ i5 / 16GB DDR4 / 1TB SSD + 1 TB HDD / HDMI / USB-C / Win10

Would it be a good purchase and sufficient (also in terms of upcoming Roon versions)? I have a small music library locally currently (I had a big one but everything was on Tidal anyway, so I got rid of it - bad decision probably but it happened)

For NAS, I was looking at QNAP TS-451D2 with 4 GB RAM for a price of 400 EUR.

Any thoughts / guidance would be appreciated!

Doubtless others will chime in with their thoughts, but I’ll kick things off.

First question is, since you’ve posted this in the ROCK category, are you intending to replace the Win 10 OS with ROCK? If so, then the Intel NUC10i5FNH is one of the supported devices for ROCK, so that ticks a box…

Second question: what size of library (the sum of local + Tidal tracks) are you aiming for? 16GB will be more than enough for 100,000 tracks and probably 250,000, but have a read through this article for more information:

For ROCK, the 1TB SSD is more than enough for the Roon OS, Roon and its database. You could easily use the 1TB HDD for local music storage - good for a couple of thousand albums.

Why are you looking to get a NAS? An alternative would be just to add an external USB drive to the NUC for additional music storage and as a location for backups of the Roon database. However, you should still think about a location for backups of the local music files, and a NAS is certainly a way to provide the storage for these backups.

3 Likes

I see Geoff has already given you the good advice. The 1TB SSD might be a bit wasted if it is an M.2 drive as it can’t store the music on it. If it is a 2.5" SSD then I would recommend adding a 128 or 256 GB M.2 drive depending on what you can get hold of.

I have this device and have put it in a Akasa silent case, which has worked perfectly. I have a 70k library so it should easily cope with yours.
I do DSD256 upscaling and it doesn’t break a sweat, so I think it should be good for the next several year’s easily.

Before you install Rock on it I would recommend doing all the bios and firmware updates from within Windows, just because it is a bit easier.

Other than that good luck.

1 Like

Thank you Geoff and Michael. I knew that if I post here, I will get a valuable feedback :slightly_smiling_face:

As for your questions / comments:

  1. Yes, I was thinking about installing ROCK on the NUC
  2. I have a very small library at the moment - around 4000 tracks
  3. Definitely wanted to go ahead with Akasa silent case (Turing FX was my initial choice)
  4. Not sure about the NAS to be honest. I was thinking to store my .mkv video files on it + music for the NUC + doing backups. I understand that the alternative would be just to connect the external USB drive to the NUC, which I also have.

I wouldn’t want to overpay and overkill the setup as this is all new to me.

P.S. I also have an option to get 2nd handed NUC8I7BEH (i7 8gen 8559U 2.7GHz -4.5GHz boost) with 500 GB SSD and 16 GB RAM for around 330 EUR (with Win 10 professional)

2 Likes

I also have the Turing FX and it is a great little case. A little bit of art decor and completely silent and stays Cool.

Generally I recommend having your music local to the NUC if possible and backed up onto a NAS as well. This saves problems where the network can be on the edge of skips when dealing with high resolution albums in particular. I got the odd Skip before when I was on Nas but I generally have none now.

I have two Synology NAS devices and one of them was my original Roon core, but now it runs Plex, DHCP, DNS etc plus it gets a second and third Roon backup on a different schedule to the other backups.
But that does make a great store for ripped movie’s and Plex works pretty well on Synology and QNAP devices.

What are you planning on using the second NUC for? Windows, ripping CDs etc. I never found them as good as a Windows machine and have just sold one after buying a Dell mini PC which I now use for ripping my CDs, backing up music to the Nas etc. But the NUC is fine

1 Like

Thanks Michael. No, I would get just one NUC. I mentioned that I had 2 different offers to buy one.

Anyways, if my understanding is correct, I could go ahead with the following setup:

  • NUC10i5FNH (16GB RAM) with two disks: SDD for ROCK, Roon etc. and HDD for local music installed in Akasa Turing FX case
  • NAS device (QNAP or Synology) for ripped movies (with Plex installed) + media backup purposes
  • Lumin D2 as my main Roon Ready device

Did I miss anything?

That makes sense.
Only question then is what the SSD in the NUC is, whether it is an SSD or M.2 , but either way you can probably sell it is it is an M.2

I think you have everything you need in that.
Good luck and enjoy building this

Given your limited library requirements, a NUC10i3 or NUC7i3 with 8GB would work just as well. The NUC8 models have a higher TPW of 28W, which for an always on server is too much - NUC7 is 15W TPW

No need for a large SSD for Roon Core, I have a 256GB M.2 NVMe and with nearly 100k tracks, Roon is only using 3%.
If you get anything bigger in a 2nd hand NUC, put it in an enclosure and use for Music storage, and a NAS for Backup.

I still have my Library on a NAS, as I have other servers scanning it, plus it makes the setting up the daily Backup jobs easier.

With over 150.000 tracks on NUC8i7 and 8GB of RAM (Roon ROCK) I actually ran out of memory (during analysing of tracks). Upgraded to 32GB to avoid any future problems.

Ok, I upgraded from my long term NUC5I3MYBE (since 2017 & ROCK 1.0) to a NUC7i7DNKE, the same board used in a Nucleus+, with 16GB RAM and a 256GB M.2 NVMe SSD.
Plus being a NUC7 still the 15W TPW but with quad-core CPU.

All good with my 97k tracks, somewhat snappy response from the Roon Remote instances for the Roon database (NVMe PCI 3 vs M.2 SATA access speeds) and I never get to see the Analysing counter, as with 8 cores, a whole album is nearly done in parallel.

1 Like

Easier to change router?

I have a tiny collection of tracks - just 2000 albums - and use Tidal for the rest. Assuming I have no intention of acquiring more ‘tracks’ am I correct in saying a NUC 3i is sufficient -

And there would be no advantage, or future proofing by buying a 5i unit instead?

Titles (tracks and/or albums) that you add to your Roon library from a streaming service count towards the size of your library - it is not only the number of local tracks/albums that you have.

1 Like

Thanks for pointing that out. I didn’t realise

I have done comparison of the CPU performance figures used in a number of NUCs here, from the lowest spec supported NUC5i3 to current ‘highest’ spec NUC10i7

Library size is just one element, but number of endpoints to be used simultaneously, level of DSP intended with each endpoint.
Again on my original NUCi5 I proved that 4 endpoints could be supported all with heavy DSP workload (DSD upconverting, EQ Evolution files, format downconverting to 24/192, PCM conversion to DSD).

So if little DSP is to be used and a single endpoint, the single thread specification is all that is important, the rest is performance that will be only be utilised during local file analysis on initial library build and when adding local files to the library (streamed files aren’t analysis in advance of being played),